Jamie Dimon Has Spent $117 Billion Propping Up JPMorgan’s Share Price with Buybacks in 10 Years; He’s Counting on Trump’s MAGA Crowd to Rescue Him

Gunnar Larson g at xny.io
Mon Feb 5 09:53:48 PST 2024


By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 5, 2024 ~

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

On January 19, Jamie Dimon stunned CNBC viewers when he launched into what
sounded like a TV commercial for Republican Presidential candidate and
91-count indictee Donald Trump. Dimon stated:

“Take a step back, be honest. He was kind of right about NATO, kind of
right about immigration. He grew the economy quite well. Tax reform worked.
He was right about some of China…He wasn’t wrong about some of these
critical issues.”

Dimon also said that Democrats need to be more respectful of their fellow
citizens that identify as MAGA Republicans.

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich was one of the folks who caught
Dimon’s act and published a sharp retort the same day, writing:

“Kind of right about NATO? Trump wanted the U.S. to withdraw from NATO —
and may get his way if he becomes president again. This would open Europe
further to Putin’s aggression.

“Kind of right on immigration? Even the conservative CATO Institute found
that Trump reduced legal immigration but not illegal immigration. Trump
refused to grant legal status to children of immigrants born in the United
States or who grew up in the U.S. He banned Muslims from America, and when
the Muslim ban was found to be unconstitutional, banned people from Muslim
countries. He fueled the flames of nativism by describing poorer nations as
‘shit holes’ and has used Nazi terms to describe foreigners as ‘poisoning
the blood’ of Americans.

“Grew the economy quite well? In fact, under Trump the economy lost 2.9
million jobs. Even before the pandemic, job growth was slower than it has
been under Biden. The unemployment rate increased by 1.6 percentage points
to 6.3%. The international trade deficit Trump promised to reduce went up.
The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services in 2020 was the highest since
2008 and increased 40.5% from 2016. The number of Americans lacking health
insurance rose by 3 million. The federal debt held by the public went up,
from $14.4 trillion to $21.6 trillion.” (Read Reich’s full column here.)

What has caused Jamie Dimon to appear to be auditioning for the job of
advance man for Donald Trump and his MAGA followers?

Dimon is Chairman and CEO of the largest Wall Street mega bank in the
United States, JPMorgan Chase. Under Dimon’s tenure, the bank has the
dubious distinction of having admitted to an unprecedented five felony
counts brought by the U.S. Department of Justice as well as being labeled
the riskiest bank by its regulators.

Now Dimon is in a pitched battle with federal banking regulators over their
proposed new rules that would make JPMorgan Chase hold more capital against
its riskiest trading positions. (This is, after all, the bank that secretly
used deposits from its federally-insured Chase Bank to gamble in
derivatives in London and lose $6.2 billion. The notorious scandal, known
as the “London Whale,” occurred just two years after Congress had passed
the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010 — legislation that was
supposed to rein in the reckless activities of the Wall Street mega banks
which had brought on the worst financial crash in the U.S. in 2008 since
the Great Depression of the 1930s.)

Running to the aid of Dimon in his battle to stop the proposed new capital
rules by federal regulators – which would impact just the 37 banks (out of
4,600) in the U.S. that hold $100 billion or more in assets – is the
MAGA-controlled House Financial Services Committee. Its website is so
brazenly pro-Trump that yesterday it featured under a heading of “Latest on
Twitter” a 2020 Tweet heaping praise on Trump along with a photo of Trump
in the Oval Office. (See screenshot to the right.)

On January 31, the MAGA-dominated House Financial Services Committee held a
hearing on the proposed new capital rules under the biased title: “Rules
Without Analysis: Federal Banking Proposals Under the Biden Administration.”

The witness panel was stacked three-to-one against an honest debate on the
topic. The one speaker who was not a lobbyist, law firm or sycophant for
Wall Street mega banks was Professor Jeremy Kress, Assistant Professor of
Business Law at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of
Michigan. (Clearly, Democrats were allowed to select just one of the four
witnesses on the panel.) Professor Kress told the Committee the following:

“The pending Basel III Endgame rules will foster— not threaten—credit
availability, as most of the proposed capital increase is associated with
large banks’ trading and fee-generating businesses—not their lending
activities—and the risk-weights for many categories of traditional loans
actually decrease under the proposal…

“…the banking sector is trying to invent new legal standards in a brazen
attempt to defeat these rules. Requiring banks to fund themselves with more
equity will not impair credit availability, but it will modestly reduce
bank stock prices, share buybacks, and executive compensation. To avoid
this outcome, large banks are attempting to hold their regulators to legal
standards that simply do not exist. Congress has subjected rulemaking by
some agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, to various
types of cost-benefit tests. However, Congress has not imposed any
cost-benefit requirement on the federal banking agencies. And for good
reason: quantifying the benefits of a banking crisis averted is a nearly
impossible task. The law that does govern rulemaking by the federal banking
agencies—the Administrative Procedure Act—requires only ‘reasoned decision
making,’ a standard the current proposals assuredly meet. Indeed, the level
of analysis in the current proposals is at least equal to, and in many
cases exceeds, prior federal banking agency rules. Make no mistake: if the
current proposals are legally deficient, so too are the vast majority of
the deregulatory rules adopted under the Trump Administration with far less
reasoned analysis.”

Jamie Dimon has been able to keep his job at the helm of JPMorgan Chase
because his Board of Directors has chosen to look the other way at how
Dimon keeps the stock price moving higher despite a Rap Sheet that rivals
an organized crime family. As Professor Kress points out, under the
proposed new capital rules the Wall Street mega banks would have to reduce
their spending on share buybacks to prop up their share prices and use at
least part of that money instead for an accounting category called
“retained earnings,” which increases equity capital at the bank and helps
to prevent taxpayer bailouts.

Over the past decade, from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2023, Dimon
has overseen $116.8 billion in stock buybacks of JPMorgan Chase stock as
his Board made Dimon a billionaire with stock options. (Not shown in the
first link in this paragraph is the $2.3 billion JPMorgan Chase spent in
the fourth quarter of 2023 on buybacks — per the 8K the bank filed with the

In another move that shows Dimon is getting nervous about banking
regulators breathing down his neck, Dimon announced in October that he and
his family planned to sell a whopping one million shares of their JPMorgan
Chase common stock.
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